by Bruce TierneyJuly 2006
Long time gone
Iconic California P.I. Sharon McCone is back in Marcia Muller's gripping Vanishing Point. Cold case doesn't even begin to describe the disappearance of San Luis Obispo socialite Laurel Greenwood. Greenwood has been missing (and presumed dead) for some 22 years. Her daughter Jennifer, a fragile soul who has never quite come to terms with the loss, hires McCone to reopen the case. Things get complicated when Jennifer vanishes in a manner chillingly similar to her mother's disappearance. Is she in hot pursuit of some unrevealed clues, or is someone playing a deadly game with her life? McCone's investigation turns up some disturbing facts about the marriages of both Laurel and Jennifer, and she quickly realizes that all is not sweetness and light for her client; in fact, it seems that Jennifer's hold on reality is tenuous at best. Vanishing Point is the 23rd in the venerable Sharon McCone series, one of the longest running in contemporary crime fiction. There is a reason for this, of course: Marcia Muller is the consummate craftsman, developing her characters and their relationships with each new installment, adding interesting new cast members (both protagonists and villains), and offering original, clever and intricate storylines in each novel. Though the series is accessible to new readers, longtime fans will relish the flashbacks and will revel in the nuances of the relationships that have been building for the past two decades.